With the popularity of midsize crossovers at an all-time high, the 2017 Ford Escape is still a top contender in this more-than-ever crowded segment. Although the current generation Ford Escape was revealed some two years ago at the L.A. Auto Show, constant updates from Ford ensure it’s still as new and modern as the day it came out. Ford seems to have most of the segments on lock at the moment, and the 2017 Escape is arguably their strongest model in any sector. With a couple of minor revisions for 2017, they’ve managed to outdo their competitors yet again, keeping well ahead of the field in terms of styling, comfort and performance.
The 2017 Ford Escape comes in three different trim levels: S, SE and Titanium. With entry level pricing at $23,765 for the base model S, the Escape is also one of the most affordable compact SUVs on the market. Don’t think the economic pricing makes the 2017 Escape cheap or less equipped though. Even the base model S comes with air conditioning, a rear view camera, emergency brake assist system, Bluetooth and USB connections and much more – pretty much everything you need in this day and age, the modern essentials if you will. The SE adds many more luxury options, making it the best value for money. Last but by no means the least is the Titanium, where Ford crams all the technology, luxury and features they can into this top of the line 2017 Ford Escape.
Visually, the 2017 Ford Escape maintains the original design concept from the remodel two years ago. It’s still immediately recognizable as an Escape, but the styling has been brought closer to its siblings, most notably the 2017 Ford Edge. The new corporate fascia really suits it well though, perhaps even better than the Edge. The new six-sided grille gets cues from the Edge and the Fusion, and we really like the two horizontal bars nested inside the grille holding the blue oval in place. You might notice the headlights now feature LED daytime running lights as well as HID technology. They’re also a bit more swept back, with sharper angles and an angular side market, clearly visible from the three-quarter view at the front. Rounding off the front we have a revised bumper with larger center cut-outs, including two faux openings on both sides just near the foglights.
Round the side of the 2017 Escape, there’s not a lot to talk about. It’s got the elegant, swooping curves the last Escape did, with a strong belt line and kinks curving upward right before the D-pillar. It’s around back where things start to get really exciting. The new taillights have been restyled to blend from the quarter panel into the liftgate. There’s the same license plate surround which gave the Escape its unique appearance, but the reshaped taillights compliment that a lot better. Dual exhaust tips, one on each side, make an appearance, with the optional two-inch trailer hitch receiver adding a dose of toughness even. There are three new colors and six new wheel designs: Canyon Ridge, White Gold and Lighting Blue.
Most of the updates for the 2017 Ford Escape are seen in the interior. The dashboard for instance, is brand new. Not just in terms of materials, but in terms of design as well. The updated lines and styling details are more in line with the exterior design, but still keep to the traditional roots of the Escape. The color information screen with four, large analog gauges is located slap bang in the middle, offering excellent visibility. The massive touchscreen in the center console now houses Ford’s excellent SYNC 3 infotainment system. It’s not just miles better than their old MyLink interface, but we think one of the best systems ever created. Period. It’s easy to learn, intuitive, and really responsive. It’s just a joy to use, and you’re looking forward to times when you have to change settings because it’s so plain easy.
The 2017 Ford Escape’s interior has class-leading legroom and headroom, with a large cargo area, made even larger when the rear seats are folded flat. The hands-free, foot-operated liftgate makes it really convenient to access the cargo area, whether you’re putting something in or taking something out. As a cabin to be in and drive lots of miles, there’s practically nothing the 2017 Escape can’t offer.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The 2017 Ford Escape offers three choices of engine and a different driving experience for each. The base 2.5L four cylinder engine outputs 168hp and while it works reliably and gets you from one place to another, there’s not much to brag about. The middle of the range offer is a 1.5L turbo charged four cylinder engine outputting 179hp and offering the best fuel consumption. It provides the ultimate blend between efficiency and power with lots of down-low grunt, but it can pull at the top of the rev range as well.
The top of the line engine offered on the 2017 Ford Escape is the 2.0L turbo charged four cylinder engine outputting 245 hp, making it one of the fastest cars in its respective segment. The fuel economy is also only slightly higher than the 1.5L engine and comes in at 10.6 L/100km in the city and 8.0 L/100km on the highway.
All three engines are paired with a six-speed automatic, with the SE and Titanium trims getting paddle shifters. Front-wheel drive is the standard, but you can opt for the optional all-wheel drive if you prefer.
Overall the 2017 Ford Escape drives smooth and quietly, has a great turning radius for easy maneuverability and more than enough power for daily driving.
There’s no doubting the 2017 Ford Escape’s capabilities. Not only is the 2017 Escape fast, roomy, well equipped and affordable, but there’s something really likable about it a well. Often cars get treated as mere tools and nothing more, but the 2017 Escape offers something special about it – something we just can’t put a finger on.